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Published Apr. 10, 2014

Spring fling. Spring fishing has been off the hook off the mangrove shore lines around the Tampa Bay area. April is typically one of our very best months for flats fishing, and so far it has lived up to my expectations. The snook, redfish and trout fishing has been on fire.

Snook. Fishing for this species has been excellent with many small-to-giant over-slot snook. The big-trophy snook we've caught have been surprising. We have averaged around 12 snook per day and we have been landing a few over-slot-size snook per trip.

Redfish. Redfish also have done well. On most days, I've hooked plenty of redfish mixed in with the mullet schools. Most of the reds mixed in with the mullet have been in the 18- to 30-inch class and a handful more than 30 inches. On the lower tide days I have been getting the larger 30-plus-inch reds.

Trout. Fishing also has been really great with a lot of big gator trout. Most have been ranging from 16 to 25 inches with some just under 30 inches.

Tip. Whether you have a baitwell in your boat or you're fishing off the Skyway Bridge, try to catch bait when you make that run down to the Skyway Bridge to catch sardines or catch bait on some of the bay area flats. That's what the snook or redfish are biting. With that, you are almost guaranteed a great day of catching fish.

Capt. Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at